After reading his fantastic novella, Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds, I was eager to hop into more of Peter Salomon’s work! Fortunately he’s got a few other books that he’s written, and this book, Henry Franks, was his first!
Henry Franks is a novel about a teenage boy with scars that are always itching and a terrible case of amnesia. He doesn’t remember anything that happened before the accident, and he suffers from not recognizing his own name or his own father. As Henry slowly unfurls out of his shell around his talkative neighbor, Justine, the newspapers are full of murder reports happening all across the quiet island of St. Simons island.
So first off, having grown up in Georgia myself, I love that this happens in a known Georgia location during specific years and during a very specific weather pattern. I think it’s incredible the amount of work and research it takes to create a world within that space, but Peter does a splendid job with it.
Another piece I want to include, and perhaps the part that made this book glow for me, is the clear knowledge of cognitive science and the effects of head trauma. People forgetting who relatives are and sometimes, more importantly, not having the same feelings of warmth as they used to are known side effects of that trauma. Read up on Capgras syndrome for more information on this very real phenomena.
What makes life worse for Henry is that his father seems untrustworthy. And you’re not sure if it is a case of head trauma or if he really is acting suspiciously. So you’re not sure if Henry’s lack of emotion for his father is truly from head trauma and amnesia, or if his father isn’t who he says he is.
Anyway, you get the idea of how tangled this story is and how much fun it is to unravel the mystery! I honestly love that about Peter’s books. The ending absolutely threw me for a loop too!
I am looking forward to getting to read more of Peter’s work!
What I consider a 5-star book:
- Is it a fun read? I turned each page with growing concern, eager to unravel the mystery at hand, so yes, definitely a fun read!
- Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely! I loved the twists and turns this book took, and the horrific encounters they had.
- Does it stick with you? Definitely! It’s a storyline that you’ll find creeping into your mind again and again.
My overall rating: 5/5
It’s got my favorite kind of narrator: unreliable. When a story like that is skillfully written, it’s golden. Thanks for posting your review!
I know, I love unreliable narrators so much! I love having that moment where I stop and question the character’s motives, because then it helps me define my own beliefs. It’s really interesting!
Never heard of the author before but def want to read him now. Great review, Marlena.
Thank you! Yes, you should definitely check out his work. In my opinion, he’s not nearly as well known as he ought to be. 🙂
Got him on the TBR list.